Do these rules produce close combat too often?

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samwardesq
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Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by samwardesq » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:57 pm

I like these rules a lot but...
...it seems clear from a variety of historical sources that infantry formations almost never came into hand to hand combat in open ground.
Defending units that failed to stop attackers by musketry, or attackers that were halted and counter-charged, virtually never stood their ground as the bayonets approached.
Yet this rules system produces something that looks like hand to hand combat (infantry units in base to base combat) quite often.
Or is it that when we see something that looks like a melee between infantry units in the open, the players should realise that there is something more complex going on, and if so, what?
It does undermine the satisfaction with a game, if it seems to regularly produce historically unlikely situations.
Thoughts?

shadowdragon
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by shadowdragon » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:10 pm

samwardesq wrote:I like these rules a lot but...
...it seems clear from a variety of historical sources that infantry formations almost never came into hand to hand combat in open ground.
Defending units that failed to stop attackers by musketry, or attackers that were halted and counter-charged, virtually never stood their ground as the bayonets approached.
Yet this rules system produces something that looks like hand to hand combat (infantry units in base to base combat) quite often.
Or is it that when we see something that looks like a melee between infantry units in the open, the players should realise that there is something more complex going on, and if so, what?
It does undermine the satisfaction with a game, if it seems to regularly produce historically unlikely situations.
Thoughts?
It's important to remember that the units are not battalions but groups of battalions - be they regiments, brigades, etc. As shown in the diagrams the individual battalions could be in a variety of formations (e.g., column or square) and therefore the unit's footprint represents the area occupied by the constituent battalions. One shouldn't, therefore, assume that because two opposing FoGN units are toe-to-toe that it means the battalions within the units are engaged in hand-to-hand combat. They are however in close proximity. They might be delivering close range volleys, threatening to engage in hand-to-hand (bayonets approaching)...or, less likely, fighting hand-to-hand.

However, most of us are used to games with a battalion representation with the view that units being toe-to-toe = melee. It's really a question of being conditioned to a particular use of miniatures to represent real units on the battlefield and needing to re-condition ourselves to a lower resolution (higher level) game.

The same is true of all of the attachments. They do not represent how those attachments would operate alongside battalions. There are merely a mechanism for reminding us that, for example, a FoGN infantry unit includes several infantry battalions, a squadron or so of supporting cavalry and a few guns attached from division.

Makes sense?

For what it's worth, I think the game gives a good balance of longer distance volleys and shorter distance close combat (including close range fire fights). Note that "close range" for firing is out to 100 yards between units with the constituent battalions of the units possibly even further apart than that.

samwardesq
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by samwardesq » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:38 pm

Excellent reply,
thanks.

pyruse
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by pyruse » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:55 am

Actually, I wouldn't assume that bases in contact in a battalion level game means melee - it means one side has charged forward to close proximity, there has perhaps been a close range firefight, and either the attacker or the defender has fallen back as a result.

Infantry melee was rare in battle after the demise of the pike; units in contact just means they are close enough for a decisive result, not that they are stabbing each other with bayonets,

shadowdragon
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by shadowdragon » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:57 pm

pyruse wrote:Actually, I wouldn't assume that bases in contact in a battalion level game means melee - it means one side has charged forward to close proximity, there has perhaps been a close range firefight, and either the attacker or the defender has fallen back as a result.

Infantry melee was rare in battle after the demise of the pike; units in contact just means they are close enough for a decisive result, not that they are stabbing each other with bayonets,
You're right it probably doesn't really mean "melee" in a battalion level game, which is why I wrote..."However, most of us are used to games with a battalion representation with the view that units being toe-to-toe = melee." That is probably not the "view" of the rules writer(s) but nonetheless they often term the section "melee" and not "close combat".

hazelbark
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by hazelbark » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:08 pm

samwardesq wrote:Yet this rules system produces something that looks like hand to hand combat (infantry units in base to base combat) quite often.

Thoughts?
I actually disagree with this statement. The rules don't produce this very often. I can think of very few instances in my games. Even fewer when you remove one side being in a defensive position liek a building.

Maybe others are flinging infantry in and getting lucky and closing in the assault phase, but usually the defender stops the attacker with fire or the defender is wavering and then heads for the hills.

Blathergut
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by Blathergut » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:32 am

I agree. Actual into-it-fighting is fairly rare, given how many units are battling on the table. More likely something wavers and then, when charged, breaks and takes other units with them. It's actually fairly tough to get into combat in good enough shape to give you an advantage!

ravenflight
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by ravenflight » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:27 am

samwardesq wrote:Yet this rules system produces something that looks like hand to hand combat (infantry units in base to base combat) quite often.
Not often enough according to Suvarov.

hazelbark
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by hazelbark » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:28 pm

Played two games this weekend. Won both with Russians and did not have one infantry close combat I believe. Lots of mounted close assaults. Lots of shooting.

terrys
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Re: Do these rules produce close combat too often?

Post by terrys » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:33 am

...it seems clear from a variety of historical sources that infantry formations almost never came into hand to hand combat in open ground.
Shadowdragon is correct in his reply.

The units "in combat" are not necessarily toe-to-toe using bayonets. 'Combat' is also considered to cover units that are engaged in a close-range fire fight.

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